If you’re trying to lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle, you may be concerned about your calorie intake versus output. When we consume more calories than we metabolize, or use through activity, we gain weight. And of course, when we can boost metabolism to burn more calories than we consume, we lose weight.

We tend to think of weight loss in terms of cutting calories, but you should make an effort to bump up your calorie use as well. Increasing your metabolism will not only help you to lose weight faster, but you’ll also be better able to keep it off!

So how do you boost metabolism through exercise? Science has demonstrated that we need a good mix of the two main types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic.

Aerobic exercise is the type that gets your heart really pumping hard: Running, cycling, swimming, and so on. This exercise torches calories, and it conditions your heart to work more effectively even during periods of rest. Try to work 20-45 minutes of aerobic exercise into your routine at least three times per week. If aerobic exercise is hard for you, keep in mind that you can start out walking, or alternate running and walking, until you build up more stamina. The point is to keep your heart pumping, and to add a bit more time to your workout each day.

Anaerobic exercises are those which help you to build muscle, like toning exercises and weight lifting. Since muscle requires fuel even when the tissue is resting, building muscle tissue will actually increase your base metabolic rate. This means you burn more calories even when you’re just watching TV or sleeping! Try to incorporate 20 to 30 minutes of weight training into your exercise routine, three to five times per week.

Before beginning any exercise routine, consult with your doctor to be sure your plans are safe for your body at its current fitness level. You can risk significant injury or negative health effects by pushing yourself too hard, so follow your doctor’s advice and consider working out with a buddy until your fitness level improves.